As we round the corner to mid-year, 2023 has already proven that time is the ultimate challenge for air cargo. While the availability of bellyhold capacity in the air cargo market has returned with heightened demand for summer flights, cargo charter solutions requiring full aircraft charter continues to support many industries, especially with their urgent and international transport requirements. Being able to have direct access to the necessary aircraft options and logistical solutions is paramount for companies and industries that have goals and deadlines to meet. Depending on the size or timeliness of their projects, any number of factors can create unique sets of challenges to staying on target and on schedule without any downtime or delays. At Air Partner, we offer our customers reassurance with secure options for their cargo that utilize our expertise in global air charter services to deliver in a way that is not only speedy but reliable when it matters most.
Support for Global Cargo Arrangements
Some of today’s cargo transport challenges often require solutions that can meet demanding scheduling needs, whether planning months in advance or when needing an immediate overnight solution. While general cargo may even include smaller items, accomplishable on the next flight out or part aircraft charter, the Air Partner Cargo line of work often involves heavy-lift and oversized cargo arrangements moving internationally and to remote regions. Specializing in robust cargo charter solutions is the starting line, and being able to offer a full aircraft charter service that accommodates cargo of any size, going anywhere in the world is the standard. Those with time-critical requirements may have limited bandwidth to manage all the ins and outs of a cargo charter project, so having a complete end-to-end solution with dedicated support is always appreciated. There is a greater sense of assurance knowing they have full support for global cargo transport, international customs clearances, on-site logistics for loading and unloading, and a final mile or door-to-door delivery.
While time may seem a simple-enough equation, a variety of factors must be considered when dealing with any time-critical cargo shipment. With air cargo charter, the requests for time-critical delivery can be vastly different in scale, scope, and urgency. Having a solution that fits more specifically the cargo transport needs can save time, money, and expensive delays or mistakes.
The bigger or more irregular the cargo is, the more aircraft charter may make sense. When the Air Partner Cargo team delivered cruise-ship spares for a stranded cruise ship, we were able to accomplish this cargo flight very precisely with a smaller BAE-146 aircraft, delivered from Barcelona to Cyprus in under 24 hours. Larger or multiple aircraft are necessary when dealing with oversized or heavy-lift cargo. Requiring more detailed planning and logistics, coordination plays a crucial role in ensuring a successful operation. For a recent AOG (Aircraft on Ground) cargo charter transport solution, moving an oversized aircraft engine along with critical tooling to a remote island in the Azores, we had to ensure a tight turnaround with close-knit teamwork. For this project, the Antonov AN-124 cargo aircraft and several Boeing 747 freighters were used to transport the replacement aircraft engine, tooling and lifting kit (which included a 48-foot mobile crane necessary to load & offload the high-value and oversized aircraft engine into and out of the AN-124 cargo cabin). An almost impossible scenario was accomplishable in only 4 days with detailed planning, expert logistics, and seamless cooperation through our global network.
From Automobiles to Aerospace to Amplifiers
The Air Partner Cargo team routinely handle complex air charter operations for various industries and market segments such as aviation and aerospace, oil and gas, government and defense, automotive, aviation, manufacturing, pharmaceutical companies, and music and entertainment.
Aircraft charter for time-sensitive cargo is the fastest solution for transport, especially for long distances and complex itineraries. Compared to other modes (rail, ocean, or ground), flying your cargo from point A to B (or C) could mean two days versus two weeks or more. Air Partner has found a niche in providing essential time-critical cargo charter solutions that support moving supply chains, overseas and offshore operations, humanitarian aid, and other critical situations.
The pandemic certainly has implications for the utility of the air cargo industry and has fundamentally changed how corporations approach their cargo transport needs. When the automotive industry, which typically relied on ocean shipping to facilitate the transport of raw materials and parts, began experiencing considerable delays, it resulted in the chip shortage that halted many automobile production lines. By providing reliable air cargo charter solutions, we were able to help clients in the automobile industry quickly move raw materials and components using freight aircraft, thus re-enabling car manufacturers to resume production and meet critical deadlines.
Dozens of wide-bodied aircraft (including B747F and B777F) were utilized on a weekly basis, for both international and domestic deliveries. The advantages proved to be a faster method than ocean transport, saving time and costs. Our charter specialists were also able to offer turnkey solutions for their international cargo requirements based on any schedule and deliver a completely unique long-term aircraft solution that was within budget and met goals.
Other industries have relied more on having tailored aircraft charter solutions to help get back on track. With the return of the concert and live events in 2022, we are seeing more and more music tours needing a range of aircraft solutions to move their people and production. Currently, our Cargo team is handling the full requirements for a 2023 major world tour spanning Asia and South America, transporting staging, lighting, music equipment, props, and costumes – working directly with tour managers to help them meet an ultra-demanding global tour schedule for their shows’ itinerary.
Managing the Moving Parts
Urgent deliveries often require extra special care and handling, attention to detail, and secure transport. Nothing can go wrong, even more so when time is of the essence. Business operations are critical, however, in situations where people’s lives depend on the cargo, we know every second becomes even more crucial. Last year, delivering generators to restore power to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Nicole was a reminder of the intensive aid and relief cargo flights Air Partner did back in 2018; in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yutu in the Mariana Islands, our global cargo team delivered 4.5 million pounds of vital resources to the affected region over a 3 week period, and following Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Guam, 180 metric tons of water and MREs (meals ready to eat) within 72 hours. As the complexity of cargo delivery increases, any number of factors may impact timelines, so having skilled charter management, planning, logistics, and crew on-site throughout the process helps to mitigate risks and delays.
Air Partner is actively and constantly monitoring natural phenomena from hurricanes to floods, earthquakes, and even volcanoes. Whatever nature throws at us, Air Partner plays an active role in dispatching search and rescue teams from all over the world with follow up sustainment flights. In March 2023, following the recent earthquake on the border of Turkey and Syria, we operated several flights on behalf of major humanitarian relief agencies to transport a search and rescue base camp, approximately 30,000 family size tents, as well as various types of shelters with blankets. In most natural disasters, we are a reference point for relief agencies where we are able to easily suggest the operational airport closest to the disaster area.
Beyond the Dollars and Cents
While costs and budget are always highly considered, part of Air Partner’s commitment is to guide customers towards solutions that add value and provide them delivery on critical deadlines that are otherwise impossible to meet without the support of seasoned professionals. Having the experience, network, and stability makes all the difference in large-scale, time-sensitive operations. In many cases for urgent deliveries, aircraft charter may even be the most economical and efficient solution when time is limited. It’s a value proposition that extends beyond the dollars and cents. Working with our dedicated cargo charter specialists provides a level of support from an experienced and skilled professional who will ensure your delivery arrives on time and intact. With many industries still facing disruptions in their workforce and operations, more companies need reliable support from the planning and preparation to the onsite logistics and security. By providing skilled cargo charter management services that streamline all of these components, we are able to provide them the ultimate reassurance, which is invaluable in the grand scheme.